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Soothed by Corruption by BelovedStranger

Prologue: Soothsayer

AUTHOR’S NOTE:

The long awaited sequel to ‘Bound by Corruption’ is finally in the making! It is my first sequel for any of my stories, so I hope you all enjoy the continuation of a love so corrupt you’ll be hopelessly bound by darkness ;D

The future was not set in stone as some would believe. There was not just one path to tread, not a singular choice to be made because fate decreed it. If there was ever such a thing as fate, not everything was preordained. Like an old tree climbing higher towards the heavens, the future lay within each branch spreading in hundreds of directions. Each branch a possibility, all a potential pathway, all decided upon one choice.

However, even then what would come to pass could be altered. Another choice made, causing a different branch to appear, or the unexpected arrival of another would act like a strong wind, causing two branches to smash into each other. Just one individual’s choice did not foretell his future. Someone else’s wants and desires could stumble upon him unaware and change the future for good or ill.

So many branches. Too many decisions.

Humans, demons, and half-breeds alike… “Such a fickle lot.” The soft voice emerged from the shadows, uttered by a demon who was more than a devil in human skin.

Kazuo was a seer, capable of seeing past the present and into the future, but even with his foresight, even he could not accurately predict the future. It was ever changing. He could witness no more than one pathway at a time when focusing on a singular being, but even then spiderwebs fractured his sight. It was true he could see only one possible future at a time, but that limitation did not account for choices made by people who wished to interfere or cross paths with the one he focused on.

Such was life, other people coming into play. The choices they made could intercept the one he focused on, the one he sought to read and see into the future. With so many outside influences, several possible futures opened up before his inner sight. Take for example the enigma that was the priestess Kagome, the unlikely companion of Sesshomaru, an Inugami of irrefutable power. 

He’d had a vision of her weeks ago, now the past, lost in history. When he’d first laid eyes on her when Sesshomaru had brought her to his humble shop in the spirit world, he’d seen a possible future. A corrupt version of the human woman-child had flooded his mind. And death. Sesshomaru could have died that day, should have in fact, because Kazuo had seen the mighty Inugami fall never to rise again. But that was not the only future he’d seen, for there had been another player—the human bandit Onigumo.

Onigumo had had grand plans of intervening. Should he try killing Tatsuo, the Inugami he’d made a contract with before Sesshomaru’s arrival or during the inevitable fight? As Onigumo fretted in indecision, his possible interference unlocked other possible outcomes to the battle between two Inugami. Even while Tatsuo schemed, Kazuo could see the end result of all of them because his sight was focused on one individual—Kagome. However, if he focused on a group of people or a certain place, individuals became masses. He’d witness what would become of them as a whole.

Kagome, controlled by her inner darkness, had made but one choice. She was not undecided like Onigumo nor playing out strategic scenarios in her mind like Tatsuo. Instead, she’d had one endgame, to kill Sesshomaru. It wasn’t until her inner light had broken through that Kazuo had seen another pathway open for her, another possible future. It was her turn to change the course of the future because she no longer desired her demon lover’s demise. And lucky for Sesshomaru, she’d prevented his untimely death.

The future was confusing, often giving him a headache. So many possibilities, too many ways a simple choice could affect the world, big or small. It was difficult to prevent a calamity when there were too many variables to take into account, and he couldn’t see everything.

He was useless for all his foresight. Hardly helpful, unable to act even if he wanted to, because even if he did, even if he tried, he might not be able to change what would come to pass. How many times had that fact been proven to him? It was painful to remember. His failures outweighed his success. So he didn’t act. He didn’t have friends, didn’t have anyone he held close to his heart—because it was too painful. Isolating himself as he was wont to do was easier than seeing the one he cared for die and he unable to prevent it.

With a sigh that was far too forlorn even to his own ears, Kazuo picked up his lukewarm tea, took a sip, before stretching out on his cushions, back against the raised portion of the seat, and feet stretched out before him. It was like a sofa. It had four legs supporting the frame off the floor, a long bench, with one end tilted upwards. Perfect for lounging in, comfortable as the softest of beds with its padded cushions, and a far too expensive an item for most to even own.

When his shoulders hit the back rest, the kimono he wore rustled around him, the obi—as always—left untied, exposing his chest and abdomen. Having one knee bent skywards, he curled his left arm over his stomach, while keeping the other, hand holding the teacup, suspended in the air. A careless poise.

Though the room was dark since he had not lit even one candle as darkness fell, he rested in the backroom of his shop. The room he was in was his living quarters and above him, the second floor held his bedchamber. Absentmindedly, he moved his wrist in small circles, swirling the remaining drag of green tea around and around in the clay cup. Perhaps he should have grabbed something more potent.

As of late, he found himself actively opening his mind to what the future might hold. It was the only way he could see that which had caught his interest. A demon who fell in love with a mortal woman. A miko no less. It was more common than many would like to believe that a union between a demon and mortal occurred, but a powerful Inugami like Sesshomaru and a priestess? He’d never heard such a thing happening before.

Unwillingly, he was intrigued. Perhaps he was even a little envious of the unlikely couple, for they were the embodiment of the impossible becoming possible.

A low chuckle filled with wry amusement rumbled from his chest. “Love,” he murmured to no one as he was utterly alone. “What foolishness.”

And yet even as he mocked the emotion, even he could detect the longing in his soft utterance.     

AUTHOR’S NOTE:

This chapter was purposefully short, merely a prologue to things to come. The following chapters will be much longer than this one. 

 

INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
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